The 2010 Census numbers indicate a rise in the number of same-sex couples living in Washington state and in many neighborhoods throughout Seattle, according to a report by The Seattle Times. Today one out of every 18 couples living together in Seattle are same-sex, the Times reports.
While Capitol Hill has long been a central hub for the gay community in Seattle, Census data shows that the numbers of same-sex couples living in other parts of the city and its suburbs is on a general upward trend, especially in places like West Seattle, Lynnwood, Shoreline and Lake Forest Park, which all saw a sharp rise, and Vashon Island, which has the highest same-sex population statewide, at 5.5 percent.
Parts of Queen Anne have also seen an upward trend in the number of same-sex households. East Queen Anne and the south slope in particular saw a noteable increase, from 39 families in 2000 to 70 in 2010, and from 42 in 2000 to 70 in 2010, respectively.
The Seattle Times piece breaks down the Census data by neighborhood with an interesting info-graphic, showing not only the increase in same-sex households, but the numbers of male couples, female couples and couples with children. We thought this was an interesting case study for both the local gay community and that of the greater Seattle Metropolitan area. From the Times:
Many factors account for the growth in numbers of same-sex couples over the decade.
Since 2000, Canada and several U.S. states have legalized gay marriage, and Washington has a domestic-partnership law that grants same-sex couples many of the same state-level benefits as married people.
At the same time, couples have become more aware that they can indicate their status on the census forms, and many are likely more comfortable than they were 10 years ago in doing so…
…That gays are spreading out beyond the traditional gay hub of Capitol Hill suggests that gay families are feeling more comfortable living everywhere — and practically anywhere.
And there are many positive aspects to that, said Josh Friedes, marriage-equality director with Equal Rights Washington, a Seattle-based advocacy group for gays.
“They are becoming neighbors with people who’ve not had a lot of exposure and had not been familiar with gay families,” he said. “You begin to see increased support for things like marriage equality as the general population has more and more gay neighbors.”